Mount Galunggung

Pin It Now!

Mount Galunggung is the volcano which dominates not only the skyline of the Tasikmalaya area but also much of the town’s history as well.

This volcano erupts at fairly regular intervals of roughly seven to nine decades. Between eruptions, lava plugs form in the crater, only to be blown out again with the next eruption. There was a catastrophic eruption in the year 1822, after which a lava plug formed and gradually blocked the vent. The next big bang came in 1894, and sometime after 1918 the lava plug formed anew. The crater fell silent, and by 1973 even all solfatara activity had totally ceased. But based on past experiences, experts predicted the next eruption would not be far off. And indeed it wasn’t. On 5 April 1982 Mt. Galunggung erupted yet again and blanketed the whole surrounding area in ash. Moreover, its dust clouds reached so high into the atmosphere that the pilots of two international jetliners who were not taking this too seriously found themselves suddenly with stalled engines. The volcano’s violent activities lasted for about two years before subsiding.Now Mt. Galunggung is quiet again, but the scars of recent events are still very much visible large areas on the mountain are barren of vegetation and more than five dozen hot springs are scattered around its slopes. Most of these springs are near the village of Cipanas, where they feed into the creek called Cibukur, sections of which contain nothing but hot water for several hundred meters. Further evidence of recent eruptions is the mining and quarrying of volcanic products, an activity which provides a live hood for many local people.Climbing Mt. Galunggung
A hike to Mt. Galunggung’s newest crater (dating 1982) affords a splendid view from the crater rim. There are two approaches leading to the crater. The one near Singaparna requires a climb up of about two hours and can be hot and tiring; the climb should therefore be undertaken as early as possible in the morning. The climb from near Indihiang takes less than an hour.

From the crater rim you enjoy a fine view all across the Tasikmalaya Plain. Imbedded in the mountain flank is the crater proper, with steep, almost vertical walls. In the crater is a lake you can climb down to and where you can even swim. The path to the lake initially leads along the crater rim to the south and then down.


For the Singaparna approach, drive to Singaparna from Tasikmalaya (6 km) and turn right (north) at a junction marked only by a small police station just opposite the turnoff (from Garut, Singaparna is about 60 km). Once on the turnoff, you travel several kilometers on a rough road; a minibus can normally get through but a four-wheel drive vehicle would be a safer bet. The road ends at a car park where you enter the Telagabodas Nature Reserve. Nearby is hot water to bathe in. To get to the crater, you pass through an entrance gate, turn left, cross a small stream and begin the climb through the forest. It takes about half an hour before you reach a plateau with open bush and grass. Because of small deceptive erosion gullies, the trail is not always very clear here, so be careful not to lose the way. You walk another; half hour and then begin the last, steep climb to the crater rim, which takes another hour. This is a shadeless, hot and tiring stretch straight uphill across loose rubble.For the Indihiang approach, if you are coming from Bandung, turn right (west) off the main Bandung -Tasikmalaya road in Indihiang. The turnoff is through a portal near the market. After a dozen or so kilometers, you pass sand quarries and then the road gets rougher (four-wheel drive is advisable). A small car park is several kilometers more down the road. From here it’s less than an hour’s walk up the slopes of lava and ash to the rim of crater.

Compiled from: All Around Bandung, Exploring The West Java Highlands, Gottfried Roelcke, Gary Crabb.

1 comment:

  1. mount galunggung is soooooooooo cool i can't belive that i didn't know about untill a few days ago!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOL